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By : aziz khan masood
In everyday conversations, the word motivation is vaguely used. It is assumed that motivation is found only in successful people. It is thought that, motivation is an intense commitment of doing something, or it is a willingness to engage in particular set of activities. For instance, an employee who regularly spends half an hour more than his official job timings to finish work without being rewarded through overtime is said to be highly motivated. It is also common to believe that only few people have motivation, while others do not have it. However, the scholars across social sciences, such as Sociology, Psychology, and management sciences, have viewed, defined, and theorized about motivation somewhat differently from the conceptions of laymen.
Practitioners of social sciences view motivation as a force that energizes a behavior. Motivation is a drive, or a force that activates behaviors. Motivation makes it possible for humans to perform tasks consistently over period of time. For instance, Typist whose lifelong work is to type and type must have a degree of motivation; otherwise he won’t be able to maintain quality of his work. Contrary to the beliefs held by a lay person about motivation, scholars of social sciences argue that motivation is not limited to successful people. They contend that motivation is found in every human being. The factors that make an individual motivated are different. For example, some employees work hard to earn a promotion, while others value appreciation of managers, and of fellow workers. Motivation is not a behavior, nor is it a level of performance. Motivation is an inner trait that triggers human actions, and behaviors, in order to satisfy a need, or achieve a goal.
For instance, many employees work hard to receive a pay rise in order to better fulfill their economic needs. In The following paragraphs we offer a definition of motivation.
The literature offers several competing yet complimentary definition of motivation. These definitions use words like “need”, “wish”, “incentive”, “drive”, “desires”, “motive”, and “goals”. In the attempt to describe the nature of motivation, as a force having an inherent capacity to trigger human behaviors. In other words, individuals opt to behave in a certain way, in an attempt to fulfill a need, or to satisfy a wish, or to get benefits of an incentive. In the following lines we shall highlight some definitions of motivation.
1.1 Definition of motivation.
The processes that account for individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal.
Mitchell defines motivation as 'the degree to which an individual wants and chooses to engage in certain specified behaviors’.
Motivation is a process that starts with a physiological or psychological deficiency need that activates a behavior or a drive that is aimed at a goal.
These definitions highlight the fact that motivation is a force, or a drive, behind human behaviors. It is a degree of intensity or willingness of an individual to engage in certain activities. In order to achieve goals, or satisfy needs. On the bases of these definitions, we can say that motivation has the following characteristics.
1.2 Characteristics of motivation.
Motivation is an individual phenomenon. It is individuals who become motivated to achieve a goal, or satisfy a need. Motivation is individual also in a sense that different people are motivated by different things. There is no one formula of making everyone motivated. For example, singing a company song before starting work every day may motivate few employs to work hard as they can for the company. On the other hand, it might be a laborious activity for other employees. This example shows that motivation is an individual phenomenon, and different things motivate different people.
1.2.2 Motivation is an intense pursuit of a goal.
Intensity refers to a level of willingness or nonwillingness to carry out certain tasks, or behaviors. In Everyday conversation intensity is often used as a synonymous of motivation. When an individual desires to achieve a certain goal, for instance getting a salary increase, he works more diligently, to achieve this goal. Since his work is characterized by an aspiration of achieving a goal, as a consequence, his work would be full of intensity. This intensity is developed among employees because they want to achieve a certain goal. Hence we can conclude that intensity and pursuit of a goal are key factors influencing the degree of motivation among employees of any organization.
1.2.3 Motivation is aroused by a need, or an expectation.
It is widely acknowledged that people become motivated when there is an unsatisfied need, or when they want to fulfill an expectation. This expectation could be of an individual from his own self, or it can be imposed on him by others. The needs that make individuals motivated can be of various natures. These can be physiological as well as higher order needs. Some people enjoy and want to work because they enjoy what they are doing. As a result they develop a positive self image. On the other hand some people work to maximize economic rewards. Expectations also play an important role in motivating individuals. An employee, who knows that his boss expects more from him, is likely to devote extra energy to his work. Self expectations also can increase the level of motivation. An employee believing that his work should be more productive is likely to give better outputs to the organization.
1.2.4 The ability of becoming motivated is found in everyone.
Contrary to the general opinion held by people that only certain people have motivation; it is found in all individuals. As highlighted so far, the degree, and intensity of motivation is influenced by different factors. For instance, let us suppose an employee who does not like the way his boss treats him may not give good performance, but as soon as he has a new boss, or he joins a different organization his performance levels drastically improve. The scenario presented as an example above, illustrates it is not because an individual lacks an ability of being motivated, it is because of other factors, and in case of the present example situational factors that influence employee motivation. In short, all individuals have a capacity to be motivated. However the situations and factors that make them motivated vary from individual to individual.
1.2.5 Motivation is influenced by intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
Individuals are motivated by intrinsic factors as well as extrinsic factors. Sometimes the combination of both forms of factors motivates individuals. Intrinsic or internal factors mostly refer to psychological characteristics of an individual. They include the amount of interest an individual have in a given task. For instance how much an interest an employee has to work for a particular organization. Need is also an internal motivator. There can be several needs of employees, and it is not possible to identify a small group
of needs, that is universally applicable, while attempting to understand the employee’s needs. However commonly the needs of appreciation, the need of affiliation, and the need for self actualization have been identified as a motivating factors. No discussion on need as a motivating force can be complete without discussing the basic needs possess by every individual. These are physiological and security needs. In the economic system of modern societies these needs cannot be satisfied without money. All organization offer monetary reward to its employees in a form of salary along using several other motivating techniques. Extrinsic factors such as work environment, behavior of fellow workers and of management, are also important factors influencing the degree, and intensity of motivation.
Different factors influence motivation in different cultures.
While every human being blessed with a normal function mind has an ability to become motivated, the factors that make them motivated vary from culture to culture. For example employees working in cultures that value individualism are likely to be motivated by factors like opportunity for self growth, equality, and prestige. On the other hand, people living in collectivist cultures are likely to value benefits they can get from doing a job for their family. They also like to work in a harmonious environment and like to enjoy close relations with fellow workers.
1.3 Types of motivators.
Simply put motivators are desires, or needs, that make an individual motivated. For example, the need of hunger motivates individuals to struggle to make sure that they can fulfill their need for food. Similarly the need for job security, keeps employees honest and committed to their work. Motivators can be divided into three types. These are Primary motivators, general motivators, and secondary motivators. The most relevant motivators from the view point of organizational behavior study are secondary motivators. In the following paragraphs, we briefly discuss primary and general motives. Then we would comprehensively discuss secondary motivators.
1.3.1 Primary motivators.
Primary motives are also referred to as physiological, or biological, or unlearned motivators. There are two defining characteristics of these types of motivators. Firstly they are physiological in nature. Secondly they are unlearned. Most commonly recognized primary motivators are Hunger, thirst, sleep, sex, and avoidance of pain. Since these motivators are universal and do not differ from societies to societies, and culture to culture, they are of less significance in organizational behavior study. They are treated as constant factors behind human behavior.
1.3.2 General motives.
General motives are those motives which are unlearned but not physiological in nature. They are curiosity, manipulation, activity, and feeling affection. These general motives are more relevant to the study of organizational behavior. Hence they are further elaborated under separate headings in the following paragraphs.
220.127.116.11Curiosity, manipulation and activity motive.
Curiosity is a trait of human beings that make them discover new things. Without curiosity humans would not have unearth solutions to many problems of humanity. Curiosity is important in the context of organizational behavior, because it is curiosity that makes an employee find solutions to problems. For example questions like how to increase productivity without increasing the labor force how to ensure that all workers are committed to organizational goals, cannot be answered without curious THINKING. In short without curiosity an employee or a manager cannot bring creativity to his or her work. It is curiosity that makes jobs interesting, without it job can become laborious.
The activity motive in the context of organizational behavior refers to a human instinct to engage in some kind of activity. By nature humans are not passive, and they like to do something. If humans are denied from satisfying this motive, their abilities can seriously be hampered. For instance if an employee is asked to work at a machine for Eight hours without talking to someone, and do nothing but work on the machine, his social growth would seriously be influenced negatively.
18.104.22.168 The affection motive.
Affection in the context of organizational behavior refers to the empathetic feelings fellow workers and management has for one another. The management is always concerned to make employee realize that they are important for the organization, and their work is being valued. The role of affection in organizations cannot be undervalued. This is because to feel affection is a basic human motive, and if organizations are able to satisfy this motive of its employees, it is likely to flourish.
1.3.3 Secondary motives.
The secondary motives are not physiologically based, nor are they unlearned. These motives are unquestionably the most important motives in the study of
organizational behavior study. They are need for achievement, need for power, need for affiliation, need for security, and need for status. We shall briefly discuss these motives in the following paragraphs.
22.214.171.124 Need for achievement.
Most individuals have lofty goals, and they want to achieve a lot in their lives. The need for achievement has two distinct dimensions. One relates to everyday life in which individuals want to do something which give them a feeling of accomplishment. Second relates to the lifelong goals, in which individual want to achieve something before he dies. While studying behavior in organizations, we are more concerned with need for achievement that is present in our everyday life. This need or motive is satisfied when individual complete a difficult task, e.g. preparing a report before time. This motive is also satisfied when an employee solves a complex problem, e.g. why profits have decreased in a certain region. Doing better than others also satisfies this motive, e.g. receiving employee of the month award. In short, individuals have a need to achieve. This motive is satisfied in organizations through various activities.
126.96.36.199 Need for power.
Individuals like to feel that they are in command of their life, and of others. Hence need for power is another important secondary motive. Power is an important topic of discussion in organizational behavior. This motive is satisfied when employees feel completely responsible and empowered about their work, and feel that they can take necessary steps to fulfill their tasks. In the strict sense power refers to complete command of an individual, or an entity over others. However in modern organizations power is distributed among employees.
188.8.131.52 Need for affiliation.
Affiliation is another important motivator. In modern societies affiliation has become even more important. As primary relations have declined. Researches in the field of management sciences have shown that affiliation play an important role in determining employees motivation. Individual’s feel affiliation in organizations, when they feel they are liked by fellow workers. They feel affiliation when they feel a part of the group, e.g. they work in an environment where they feel that they are not alone working hard, and others are also there to work with them. Also employees feel motivated when they enjoy harmonious relationships with fellow employees, and can participate in pleasant social activities with them.
184.108.40.206 Need for security.
Need for security is one another important motive of humans. In the context of organizational behavior, this motive is satisfied in the following ways: Job security, i.e. When individual feels that his or her job is secure. Security from physical dangers, i.e. work would not result in any serious injury such as a loss of a body organ. This applies usually to workers, who manually operate machines. The security motive can also be satisfied by giving some kind of protection in case of serious illness or disability. Workers also feel a sense of security when they feel protected from an economic disaster. More clearly when they know that if their organization suffers huge losses, it would not ignore their interests. The security motive is an important motive, and without its satisfaction few individuals, if any, can be motivated.
1.4 Motivation and organizational behavior.
Motivation is an important topic for any student of organizational behavior. From the view point of managers the study of motivation is important since it helps him or her to better motivate the employees. From a view point of academics the study of motivation is important as it answers the following questions: How management and managers try to motivate employees? What motivational techniques are most successful? How employees become motivated? What types of rewards are most influential in increasing productivity? Why workers sometimes lack motivation?
The questions posed above do not provide a holistic account of the interest of scholars, and of managers to the study of motivation. However these questions provide a general overview of what are the key areas of interest while studying motivation. In the remainder of this section, we attempt to illustrate what is the significance of employee motivation for the success, and existence of an organization. Also we shall attempt to highlight why the study of motivation of employees is important.
1.4.1 The importance of employee motivation for organizations.
Formal organizations have a hierarchy and division of labor is found in them. This means that people occupy different statuses, and positions in the organization. Also they have different skills, knowledge, and specialties. Formal organizations have a well defined goal, and theoretically all employees are striving to achieve that goal. However, it is not easy to motivate employees to work with complete devotion and utilize all abilities to achieve organizational goal. It is one of the difficult tasks for management of the organization to make employees motivated, and ensure they are giving their best to the organization.
Without committed and motivated employees and organization cannot hope to be successful. If employees are not motivated this can result in disaster for
the organization. The importance of motivation can be judge from the fact that if employees are not motivated organization cannot achieve its goal. Also employees with low motivation usually give poor performances, and their productivity declines. Low motivation also cause worker dissatisfaction, and they also look to quit the job. Without motivated employees an organization cannot achieve sustained success, and it faces a threat of even going out of business. 1.4.2 Why study employee motivation?
The answer of the question why study employee motivation has somewhat been answered by the prior paragraphs. However, few more lines on this question would further clarify why studying employee motivation is important.
The fate of an organization is usually determined by its employees. So it sounds logical to understand how employees can be motivated. So organizations can develop strategies of rewarding and motivating employees. Researchers have shown that all people cannot be motivated by similar thing. For example two employees of a same organization, when ask would they prefer pay rise or better work environment, one might select pay rise, while other might opt for better work environment. Also different cultures value different things, so it is important to study what motivate people in different cultures. This knowledge is useful for organizations who work internationally.
Such organizations usually hire people of different countries, and different cultural backgrounds. Without knowing that what things can motivate people of a specific cultural and racial background, an organization cannot motivate its employees. If employee’s motivation is not studied, organizational managers would have a seriously difficult time in discovering how they can motivate their employees. In short, motivation of employees is a key determinant of success of any organization. The study of motivation is important as it provides management of an organization with necessary knowledge, and ideas of how to motivate employees.
2. Techniques of motivating employees.
The success or failure of any organization is dependent on its employees. Therefore management should always be trying to make sure that its employees are motivated. There are several techniques of motivating employees, and we will review some of them in the following pages. It should be kept in mind that the definition of motivation presented earlier in this paper that motivation is persistent and an intense pursuit of a goal has been used as a criterion while selecting the techniques of motivating employees for the following discussion. Techniques of motivation have been defined as any attempt on the part of the management and managers to ensure that
their employees stay committed to the job, and strive to improve performance levels. The numerical order in which these techniques are discussed does not imply that one technique is superior to the subsequent mentioned techniques.
2.1 Recognition of superior performance.
It is essential that a well-performing employee is recognized for his or her work. By informing an employee that he or she is doing well, management can increase the morale of him or her. Several methods can be adopted to reward good performing employees. These methods can be tangible e.g. money, in form of a bonus, or a salary raze. This reward can be intangible e.g. verbal appreciation of that employee. Recognition of performance has an impact on not only the employee who is performing well; it also tells other employees that they should also improve their performance.
2.2 Introduce healthy competition in the organization.
One another technique that management or managers can use to motivate employees is to introduce healthy competition in the organizations. These competitions can be of several types. For instance, a manager can give a same amount of work to two employees, and inform them that they must
finish their work before the other. Also they can do the same with two teams of employees. Also management can start a competition on who is the most punctual employee? And who have completed most tasks within a timeframe of suppose one month. However management should remain conscious of the fact that this competition should not take a form of conflict. This can be ensured by not offering very high rewards to the employees who have done well in the competitions. For example, offering a Ten percent salary raze for the employee who has been most punctual in one month, may create an air of jealousy, and conflict in the organization. This is something that an organization must avoid at all costs.
2.3 Provide feedback to employees about their performance.
Providing feedback to employees about how they are performing is another way of motivating them. However when and how this feedback is provided to the employee is very important. Giving feedback to good performing employees that they are doing well is likely to ensure their current performance levels, or increase them. However telling an employee that he or she is not doing well is critical. This is because, this can reduce his motivation. Management should be very careful when providing feedback to less performing employees. Some methods manager can use are to personally communicate with the employee, and empathetically discuss the possible reasons behind his substandard performance. Only telling that to an employee that he is not doing well is not enough. He should be completely
informed where he is not doing well. If possible managers should also provide some solutions to that employee of how he can increase his performance. In short feedback about performance is a good motivator. It certainly sustains currant motivation levels, and it can also increase them. However less performing employees should be provided feedback in a way that it should not cause employees to feel less motivated.
2.4 Align organizational goals with the goals of employees.
Management should strive to spread a feeling in the organization that the goals of an organization are also goals of employees. For example, if a goal of a car manufacturer is to increase sales by Ten% an organization should try to make sure that this goal is shared by the employees. This can be achieved by offering a portion of the profits that a ten% sales increase would give to the organization to employees. This can also be achieved by telling employees that if company reaches its stated goal all of them would receive a certain amount of bonus. In short management should attempt to create some sort of harmony between the goals of organizations and of its employees. If employees do not feel any attachment to the goals of organizations, they would not be motivated to help organization reach them. As a result the goals would not be achieved.
2.5 Give incentives to employees.
Giving incentives to employees is another technique of motivating employees. Simply put, incentives are a possible reward that an employee can strive to achieve. Incentives are not a reward as they serve a purpose of a possible benefit an employee would get. Obviously incentives are given to convince employees to increase their performance levels, or to achieve a goal. Examples, of incentives are a possible doubling of salary, promotion to an executive post, providing housing or medical facilities, and receiving a large sum of money. Incentives are a useful motivating technique when a management wants employees to really work hard, or to achieve its goal in a short span of time. Incentives as a motivating technique can be describe as a quick fix solution of improving employee motivation. As it is believed that by presenting a big incentive an organization can quickly raze employee motivation, thereby performance.
2.6 Develop good relations with employees.
The literature of employee motivation places high importance on the relation of employees, and of management. If managers have strong and healthy relations with employees they can motivate them easily. By developing sound relations with employees a manager gets the following advantages. Firstly he creates a feeling among employees that they have some worth in the organization, and their work is being valued. This gives a positive boost to
employee motivation. Secondly; a manager gets to know the strength and weaknesses of his employees. This helps him in the future while distributing tasks in employees. As he can identify correct people for correct jobs. Thirdly by maintaining good relations with employees he can better identify their needs, and expectations. Helping him to design better motivational strategies in the future. In short strong relations of management with employees are a useful motivating technique. On one side workers feel motivated because of the attention they receive from the management. On the other hand management is better able to understand employee needs, thereby learning how to motivate the employees.
2.7 Create an environment where open communication is possible.
If modern psychologists are to be believed most human behavioral problems result from lack of communicating skills. Organizations by creating an environment where open communication is possible can prevent many behavioral problems to emerge in the organization. The value of communication cannot be undervalued as a motivational technique. Employees feel more motivated, and drive more satisfaction from their work, if they feel they can give their ideas to management, and discuss their problems with them. Lack of communication result in employee dissatisfaction, and frustration, which is not a sign of high motivation. Manageress should always communicate with their employees. They should learn about the ideas, and suggestions employees have for the organization,
what things they do not like about how presently organization is managed. Managers can keep a box labeled employees ideas, and suggestions box somewhere in the building of an organization. Employees can be requested to drop their ideas in it. Also manager can arrange frequent meetings with employees, where employees and managers can think together about improving organization. Open environment for communication is essential because to express one self is a basic human tendency. If employees are derived of expressing themselves, they sure are likely to get frustrated. This can seriously hamper their motivation.
2.8 Make work interesting.
People are easily motivated to engage in activities they like doing. Managers should strive to make work interesting for the employees. This can be achieved through several ways. Firstly managers should allocate work to individuals who are capable of performing that task. Capable people are more likely to enjoy what they are doing, rather those people who are not capable. Work can also become interesting when it is a challenge for employees. Many people like overcoming challenges, therefore, managers should always create a sense of challenge for employees. Employees also enjoy working when they work in a good social environment. It is the responsibility of the manager to create it. In short employees are usually more motivated to perform a task which is interesting. Since not all tasks are inherently interesting, it is up to managers to make them interesting. This can be achieve by making tasks
challenging, and giving a feeling to an employee that performing this task is a good test of my abilities. In this way work can be made more interesting, thereby more motivating for employees.
2.9 Use reinforcement to maintain good performance.
Reinforcement is a psychological concept. It is a rewarding or not rewarding a particular action. The underlying idea of reinforcement is that continuous reinforcement makes an action long-lasting. For example, if a behavior is continuously rewarded, such as good performance, that behavior would become permanent. On the other hand, if a behavior is continuously not rewarded, such as poor performance, that behavior would become extinct. There is a lot more to the concept of reinforcement, but we would not delve too deeply in to it now. We shall turn our attention to how reinforcement works in organizations.
As highlighted above reinforcement can make a behavior permanent, or extinct. The notion of reinforcement in organizational behavior implies that managers should positively reward good behavior. This reward can be tangible, such as money, or intangible such as appreciation. Whatever this positive reward or reinforcer is it should be given to each good performance. Similarly poor performance should be given a negative reward or reinforcer. This does not imply that every poor performer should be punished. It means
that a system should be in place where causes of poor performance can be unearthed, and solutions can be learned. Such a managerial approach appears to be quite valuable. This is because; it tries to reward good performance all the time, and try to stop poor performance. It does this by using positive or negative rewards.
2.10 Provide job security to employees.
Security is one of the basic human motives. Managers can motivate employees by providing them a sense of job security. It should not be wrongly believed that job security means that an employee would never be fired from the organization. It means that an employee is sure that he is not going to lose his job at any moment. Employees who feel that their job is secure can devote their complete energies to the task at hand. They Aare subconsciously not worried about their future as an employee of the organization. By assuring employees that their job is under no threat a manager can improve the motivation levels of employees.
2.11 Introduce little awards in the organization.
Managers can also motivate employees by introducing little awards in the organizations. These awards may not necessarily be financial in nature. Such
awards can be employee of the month, emerging employees of the year, most punctual employees of the month, and employees with the best idea of the month. The employees who receive these awards can be given a small recognition for their contribution at the end of each month, or at the start of the new month. They can be rewarded by a bonus, or by giving a day off, or given a written appreciation for their work. The purpose of this award should be to create an example for employees to follow. The names of award winners for a particular month should be highlighted at a place where most of the employees pass. As pointed out earlier these rewards might not be financial in nature. But the introduction of such awards motivates employees to work hard to earn such awards.
2.12 Learn about the employee’s needs and expectations. As it was highlighted at the beginning of this paper, motivation is aroused by needs and expectations. Individuals engage in certain actions because doing so satisfy a need they have. Also they engage in a work when they have an expectation about an outcome. The more favorable or more positive the possible outcome, more intensely they engage in the activity, or perform a behavior. So if managers can learn about the needs and expectations of employees about the results they hope to achieve as a consequence of their work. They can better motivate employees. Managers can do this by increasing personal interaction with the employees. Or by taking surveys of what employees want. Whatever the technique is managers must learn about the needs and expectations of their employees. Suppose for example, a
company was earning profits of over 12% for five years continuously. However in the next Three years its profits drastically shrink. Also many of its top employees are working in different organizations now. What can explain
this change in fortune of this company? For the sake of our example, now let us suppose that in the profitable five years, that company gave yearly bonuses to workers, but no employee received a substantial salary increase. Company management relax by the fact that it is offering a good chunk of its profits every year to employees, lost sight of the fact that the employees were more interested in monthly salary increase rather than yearly bonus. We have earlier seen what happened to the company. This example, though imaginary, illustrates why it is so important for the organizational management to learn about the needs, and expectation of the employees.
2.13 Value small achievements.
One another way of motivating employees is to appreciate and value their small contributions. These small contributions can be completing an allocated task before time. Helping other employees to complete their task. Always coming up with new ideas. Identifying and fixing possible flaws in the everyday operations of organizations, such as finding ways to limit cost. Contributions like these are best rewarded intangibly. For example, a manager can leave a note of appreciation on a table of employees. He can send him an email, or in this age of information technology, he can appreciate his contribution on the forum on the organization’s website. By
acknowledging such small contributions, managers can create a feeling of being valued in the organization. This in turn led to increase in motivation.
2.14 Maintain a good social environment.
The role of social environment i.e. the relations of employees with one another and with management have been well documented in organizational behavior literature. It is an accepted fact now that without harmonious social relations or environment in the organization employees cannot be motivated. Managers can maintain good social environment by making every employee feel that he is an important part of the organization, and ensure that no activities are performed in the organization that can create agitation, conflict and jealousy in workers. This can be achieved by not allowing rumors to spread and create workers anxiety. For instance, false news that 200 workers are about to be expel from the organization soon, can led to a serious disruption in the social environment of the organization. This also can seriously influenced worker motivation. Also if junior employees are harshly treated by senior employees this can also disturb social environment of the organization, and can create tensions among workers. Resulting in low motivation levels. In short without a good social environment an organization cannot hope to motivate its employees. It is one of the upmost duties of a manager to create and maintain good social environment in the organization.
2.15 Create a feeling in employees that working for organization is something special.
Managers can also make employees motivated if they can develop a feeling that the organization they working for are different than others, or there is something special working for this organization. Managers can achieve this by inculcating a feeling in employees that the organization they are working for is really unique thus it is worthwhile devoting all energies to it. One relevant example is of computer software giant Microsoft. One programmer working at Microsoft remarked that for the first five years of my job, I use to think that all the things outside of my office room are evil and unnecessary. He also said that every employee at Microsoft haply spends long time in working i.e. programming software’s. This is not because Microsoft offers huge salaries; this is because each employee of Microsoft feels that he is working for a special organization. As Microsoft can influence lives of billions and billions of people. Obviously not every organization is Microsoft, but still organizations can create this feeling in employees. This can be done by creating mission statements and objectives for labor force that are inspiring. For instance, to develop an organization whose products cannot be matched by any organization. In short if managers can manage to create this feeling of specialness among employees they can become motivated.
2.16 Money as a technique of motivation.
Our discussion on techniques of motivation has so far mentioned money on several occasions. However considering the amount of discussion on money as a motivator found in motivation literature necessitates further elaboration of the role of money in employee motivation. The common believe is that money can easily motivate people. When people are asked about how to motivate people, almost the instant answer is money, give them more money to be precise. However evidence collected together by years and years of research has given lesser significance to money. Particularly in cultures of developed societies, employees give less importance to money. Whereas people living in developing countries give more importance to money. While there is no general consensus on how much money motivates, but there is no denying the fact that money does have a motivating power.
Money is the most commonly used motivating tool in organizations. Almost all organizations try to motivate employees by offering bonuses for good performance, or increasing salary. Money encourages employees to work hard. As it can result in moving upwards in the organizational hierarchy. Resulting in higher pay. Using money as a motivator does not require superior managerial skills. Usually money is attached as a reward for an employee’s performance. When employees give a certain level of performance they are given money as a reward. Many methods are used by organizations to offer money as a reward to its employees. Some organizations offer a hard cash, while other organizations offer employees an
opportunity to buy organization’s share at a fixed price. When the value of this share raises above the fix price at which they were bought by the employee he can opt to earn profit. In short money is the most famous or widely known motivational technique. While researchers have reached differing conclusion about how much money motivate employees, its importance remain highly significant.
2.17 Developed a carefully thought out reward system.
So far we have discussed many techniques of motivation in isolation. In actual practice no one single technique is used by managers to motivate employees. They use combination of several techniques. A reward system can be viewed as the collection of material and nonmaterial rewards offered by an organization to its employees. Reward systems have been thoroughly discussed elsewhere in this paper. Therefore our discussion does not focus on definitional aspects of rewards system. Our focus is on how they serve to motivate employees.
Employees of an organization can only be motivated when they feel satisfied by the rewards they receive from the organization. Some of these rewards include an adequate salary, fair evaluation of performance, and good working environment. If employees feel that they are not well rewarded by the organization their levels of motivation go down to very low limits. A manager
can only develop a good reward system when he or she is aware of what are the needs, and expectation of members and what is the cultural background of employees.
In short without a reward system that is satisfying for the employees, and that reflects their needs and aspirations, an organization cannot seriously hope of being successful.
3. Organizational reward system.
Organizations, particularly formal organizations have a well defined and clear goal. Organizational management tries to achieve the goal by making the best use of available resources. The most valuable resource for any organization is its employees. One of the main questions that a manager of
every organization has to answer is how to motivate employees, and how to reward them for their efforts. We have discussed motivation and have also highlighted the different motives individuals have. In this section of this paper, we will discuss the reward system of an organization. However this needs to be kept in mind that this discussion of different rewarding techniques provides a general overview of several ways used by different organizations to motivate its employees. So far there has been no comprehensive reward system been developed that can work for every organization. We will begin by defining organizational rewards.
Organizations reward their employees for their availability, competency and for the work they do for the organization. Hence organizational reward can be defined as “the return or benefit given by an organization to its employees for their contribution to the organization.” This reward can be financial, i.e. in form of money. Management of organizations also reward employees for their efforts verbally i.e. by appreciating the employee’s performance.
The organizational rewards are designed with a two-fold purpose. Firstly it is designed to reward those whose level of performance is high. Secondly, it is designed to make sure those employees, who are less committed, and less motivated towards fulfilling their responsibilities, start to show better commitment. There are several types of rewards, and different types of criteria are used by organizations to reward their employees. In the following paragraphs, we shall review some main types of rewards offer by organizations in today’s world to its workers. But first we will highlight two major forms of rewards.
3.1 Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards
The motivation literature classifies rewards into two distinct types. These are Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards are those which are external to the individual. Salary and housing facilities provided by an organization to the employees give examples of external rewards. Also prestige and power attached with a job is an example of external rewards.
Intrinsic rewards are internal to the individual. Examples of intrinsic rewards are enjoyment of doing a job, interest in the job and pleasure derived from doing work. Besides offering external rewards, organizations also attempt to make work of their employees intrinsically rewarding.
There is no general consensus in motivation literature on what rewards are most important in determining employee’s performance. Some Researchers have found intrinsic rewards to be of high significance, while others have given priority to extrinsic rewards. In reality, both of these types of reward go together. An organization cannot motivate its employees only by offering external rewards; it has to make sure that the work is intrinsically satisfying for the employees as well.
3.3 Types of organizational reward systems and their objectives.
Organizations reward their employees for their membership and seniority, for their job status, for their competency, and for their performance. Each type of rewards has advantages, and disadvantages. In the following paragraphs, we shall discuss in detail these rewards systems.
3.4 Membership and seniority based rewards.
This reward system is not competency or performance based. In this reward system all members of an organization receive a fix hourly wage, or a monthly salary. As the seniority of members increases, they receive a pay rise. Many benefits are same for every member of the organization e.g. medical facilities.
Advantages and disadvantages.
The membership and seniority reward system has advantages, and disadvantages. On the positive side, it increases the number of job applicants. As the size of the reward i.e. salary, increases with seniority. Also in such a reward system, people do not feel afraid of losing a job. as a result job security is higher. Considering the flexible and worker friendly nature of this reward system, employees are usually loyal with the organization.
However there are some glaring problems with this reward system. To begin, rewarding employees on the bases of their seniority, reduces employee turnover, that is number of people joining, and leaving the organization. Since the cost of leaving a senior post implies a bigger financial loss. Membership based rewards do not directly encourage better job performance. It discourages poor performers to quit the job. On the other hand, good performers are lured to good jobs. In short the disadvantages of membership and seniority based rewards can be described as golden handcuffs. As they discourage people to leave their jobs, and on the other
hand there is no proper mechanism to reward better performing employees.
3.5 Rewards based on job status.
In this reward system, employees are rewarded according to their job status. Jobs, that require more skill and effort, have more responsibility attach to it, and have difficult working conditions, have higher job status. High status jobs are placed in high pay grades. Evaluating jobs in terms of their worth creates a hierarchy of jobs in organizations. Individuals having better job status enjoy financial benefits, as well as several facilities offer to them by the organization.
Advantages and disadvantages.
Giving employees rewards on the bases of job status has some advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that, this reward system motivates workers to compete with one another for higher status jobs. This creates an air of healthy competition in the organization. Secondly it maintains equality in the organizations. Employees placed in one pay grade according to job status receive a similar wage, as compare to fellow employees having a similar job status. It also maintains equality among genders. As both males and females receive a same salary if their job status is same. One another positive of this system is that it values good performance, unlike membership and seniority based system.
Like other rewards systems, rewards based on job status, has many disadvantages as well. It rewards members, according to their skills, efforts, responsibilities, and difficulties. This creates psychological tensions between employees, and management, resulting in lack of communication. This happens because every employee wants to improve his or her job status. Failure to improve job status can result in discontent, and low motivation in employees. This system gives high priority to skills and effort. This sometimes encourages employees to provide a wrong description of their jobs. In attempt to improve their job status. Also sometimes employees claim qualifications, and expertise they do not have.
3.6 Rewards on the bases of competency.
Competencies are skills, knowledge, and other underlying characteristics that lead to superior performance. In this system of rewarding employees competent employees are more rewarded then less competent employees. The question arises how do organizations reward competent employees? Organizations limit the number of pay grades in the organization, and reward employees according to their competency in their assigned jobs. This is done by creating a small number of groups in the organization. Employees with least competence are place at the lower end of the hierarchy of the organization, and employees with the highest competency are placed at the top. Least competent employees are offered chances to improve their skills, and move upwards in the organizational hierarchy. For instance, clothing retailer Eddie Bauer created three groups of employees. These being entry, intermediate and specialist. Employees had the opportunity to improve their competence, and move upward in the organization.
Advantages and disadvantages.
The competency system of rewards allows for employee flexibility. Because employees learn many skills, they can perform different job as situations require. Organizations using this system of rewards can maintain a quality of their products. This is due to the fact that workers have multiple skills, and they have a comprehensive understanding of work process. One another
advantage of this reward system is that, it provides a solution for continuously hiring and firing. For instance, if an employee leaves the organization instead of hiring a new employee, an existing employee can be moved to fill vacant position.
Like any other system, this system is not without flaws. . One obvious flaw is that measurement of competency is subjective. Particularly if personality traits are being measured. This system also proves expensive for the organization. Because of the emphases on competency organization has to spend a lot on worker skill development.
3.7 Performance based rewards system.
The basic idea behind performance based system is simple to explain. However it is difficult to summarize in a short paragraph how this system is practiced around the world. Simply defined, in a performance based reward system, an employee is rewarded for his better performance. The complexity is how the reward is provided to the employee. Some organization offer a bonus, while others give a promotion, some organizations increase overall salary, and few organizations offer a lucrative pries such as a paid vacation at famous places of the world.
Advantages and disadvantages.
One advantage of performance based reward system is that it provides a meaningful incentive for the employees to perform well. It also creates a healthy competition in employees to perform well. By rewarding good performance an organization is able to tell employees that they must perform well if they want to have a better future in the organization.
Disadvantages of this system are that it creates a psychological conflict between workers. Fellow workers are not seen as a fellow worker. Rather they are perceived as a potential threat to achieving a reward of performance.
4. Summary, recommendation for managers, and conclusion.
At times, Motivation is a complex phenomenon to understand. This is because variety of meanings attached to it by scholars, and by lay people. While it is impossible to present a definition of motivation on which everyone can agree. Motivation can be understand as a driving force that activates a behavior. It is an intense pursuit of goal.
There are several distinguishing characteristics of motivation. They are:
Motivation is an individual phenomenon; Motivation is an intense pursuit of a goal; Motivation is aroused by a need, or an expectation; the ability of becoming motivated is found in everyone; Motivation is influenced by intrinsic and extrinsic factors; different factors motivate people in different cultures.
There are three types of human motives. Primary motives, general motives, and secondary motives. For students of organizational behavior, the secondary motives are most significant.
To understand and study employee’s motivations is essential. This is because without motivated employees an organization cannot be successful. By understanding what motivates employee’s managers can develop better motivational strategies.
There are several techniques used to motivate employees. These range from appreciating small contributions to rewarding those who have performed a difficult task. While trying to motivate employees a manager must understand that different people are motivated differently. Also employees have needs and expectations and satisfaction of them is important. A proper rewards system must be in place to ensure employees motivational levels.
Organizations use different types of rewards system. In this paper four of them are discussed. In these systems employees are rewarded for their membership, and seniority; for their job status; for their competency; lastly for their performance.
4.1 Recommendations to managers for designing motivational programs.
4.1.1 Employees should be valued as an important resource.
Any motivational program that does not value employees is inherently flawed. It is employees who determine the success of any organization. Managers should consider questions like how employees would be rewarded for their work. What rewards should be provided to them? What facilities organization can give them to help them to do their jobs? Without finding answers to these questions managers cannot make successful motivational programs.
4.1.2 Seek for constant feedback from employees.
Managers should look for constant feedback from their employees. It is highly probable that the rewards and incentives they are providing to employees are not working.
Feedback on how much employees feel committed or not committed to the organization, can help management to review their policies.
4.1.3 Try to higher competent people.
As an old saying goes, you can bring hoarse to water, but cannot make him drink it. Similarly organization can provide many incentives or rewards to employees. But if they are not competent to do a job at hand, nothing will work. Hence managers should always hire appropriate people for appropriate job.
4.1.4 Distribute work in employees.
Human beings have a certain limit of potential. No matter how good is the motivational program, over worked employees are likely to feel stress and lose their productivity.
4.1.5 Create communication channels between employees and management.
Management should ensure that employees are able to communicate easily with management. The communication can be about the problems employees are facing. It can also be that an employee wants to give management a new idea. When employees feel
that they work for a management that listens to them and is always available to do so. They are more committed to the organization.
In this paper we discussed motivation; we learned how motivation can determine the success of an organization. The techniques of motivation were discussed. Rewards systems were discussed next. Followed by summary of the paper, and recommendation for managers. This paper has illustrated that motivation is a difficult concept to explain. Also we do not know with certainty what factors motivate, and what do not motivate employees. Years and years of research have put together several factors that influence employee motivation. Even then we are not certain that particular method would be successful in improving employee motivation. This paper has asserted that intangible rewards are as important as tangible. In some cases intangible rewards outweigh tangible rewards. It is recommended that further work on motivation should continue this debate and If possible collect some empirical data for strengthening the argument.
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